The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has a new president after Puerto Rico-based hotelier Pablo Jose Torres Sojo stepped down one year into the position.
He turned over the presidency to First-Vice President Nicola Madden-Greig of Jamaica during the CHTA annual general meeting on Friday.
Torres, who took over the presidency from Barbadian hotelier Patricia Affonso-Dass last year, said he was unable to complete the second year of his term due to “the need and circumstances” in his own company, adding that his current role has “made it very difficult for me to be as active as I want to be”.
The bilingual Torres, who has over 31 years in the hospitality and tourism industry, was the General Manager of Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico when he took up the post of CHTA President.
In January, he was appointed the hotel’s Area Vice President of Operations for the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.
“I have great confidence in the CHTA staff and volunteer leadership. I am highly optimistic at the speed of recovery we are looking at,” said Torres.
“Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president and I look forward to supporting this amazing organization.”
During the AGM the motion for Madden-Greig to serve as President of the CHTA for the next year was accepted. She is also expected to continue in the role for another two years after that, to 2024.
Madden-Greig is the Group Director of Marketing and Sales at the Courtleigh Hospitality Group.
Thanking Torres for his leadership during a time of “extreme crisis”, Madden-Greig promised to continue to build on the work done.
“This is a position I take seriously and hope to continue to build on the work of the previous executive as we continue to forge our way through this pandemic towards recovery, as well as to continue to provide support to our brothers and sisters in Haiti,” said Madden-Greig.
Insisting that all must be done to make Caribbean tourism flourish, she said CHTA will call for better collaboration through strengthening of existing partnerships and forming new ones and a renewed focus on some issues such as climate change and sustainability.
“At the same time we also need to focus on the current matters of the COVID-19 pandemic which we still have unfortunately to deal with, and we will continue to look at how we fix our focus firmly on the future and how technology can help us in that regards,” she added.
Welcoming Madden-Greig to the position of president, Chief Executive Officer and Director General of the CHTA Vanessa Ledesma noted that the Articles of Incorporation allowed for the other vice presidents to move up one position.
This means the fourth vice president role would remain vacant. Ledesma reported that a recommendation that was accepted by the executive committee was placed before the board of directors for Regional Vice President Federico Moreno-Nickerson to fill that post. (MM)